Named ‘buzz artist to watch’ by NME in 2014 and ‘Unearthed Artist of the Week’ by Triple J in July 2015, LANKS has rapidly established himself in the Australian electronic music scene. Will Cuming, better known by his stage name LANKS, is a singer-songwriter and producer from Melbourne who studied jazz guitar at the Victorian College of the Arts.
In June 2014, LANKS released his debut EP titled Thousand Piece Puzzle featuring the songs ‘Bonki’, ‘Rises and Falls’, ‘The Butcher’, ‘Green Light’, ‘Knife and Spear’ and ‘Lady Eliot’. While some tracks are raw and melodic with hauntingly distilled falsetto vocals, others are beat driven, electronically stirring and place the lyrics at the forefront. The songs can be restful, while others take on a joyful bounce and all tell campfire-style tales with fire and water motifs. These motifs would go on to characterise his music.
In November 2014, LANKS released the single ‘Beach Houses’, which was named by Indie Shuffle as one of the top ten Australian songs of 2014. The song is hook driven with a persistently smooth beat, repetitive lyrics and soothing flute sounds that round out the track.
In July 2015, LANKS released his second EP, Banquet. The self-produced record includes the songs ‘Hold Me Closer’, ‘Aurelia’, ‘Beach Houses’, ‘Settle Down’, ‘Brothers of the Mountain’ and ‘Whale Song’. Banquet was mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer and producer Andrei Eremin who has worked with Chet Faker and Oscar Key Sung. The record is a dramatic shift forward from Thousand Piece Puzzle, with buzzing guitars, confident lyrical turns, humming layers reflective of rainforest sounds and the continual fragility of his falsetto.
After the release of Banquet, LANKS was named ‘Unearthed Artist of the Week’ by Triple J, went to number one on Hype Machine and the EP reached over one million plays within the first two months of its release on Soundcloud. His most recent single ‘Golden Age’ sees his sound evolve even further with an assertive intro and a catchy chorus and a distinction between the pleading verses and frenzied instrumental inserts.
LANKS is inspired by the music of Bon Iver, Radiohead and The XX and can be compared to James Blake, Chet Faker, Thom York and Jeff Buckley. His live setups usually include percussion, guitar, synth, vocals and flute.
LANKS has supported The Acid, Andy Bull, Broods, SAFIA, The Antlers, Jarryd James, and Mansionair, and he has played at boutique festivals such as The Hills are Alive and Paraide Music Festival. Recently, LANKS collaborated with Just a Gent on the track ‘Heavy as a Heartbeat’. The song is closer in resemblance to a club tune and is more potently electronic than his usual material.
After completing his seven-date Golden Age tour, he announced that a third EP is on the way. LANKS will be joining Ngaiire on her national album tour throughout June and July.
By Monique La Terra